Google My Business Categories are often an overlooked, yet necessary tactic that people tend to forget about in the Local Search Marketing space. Making sure your Google My Business categories are correct can help you rank higher. Google places high importance on category associations. This is why it is ranked the #3 factor for Google local packs. Keeping your categories in check for your specific business can help you appear higher on local search. Here are a few other tips you should know about Google My Business (GMB) categories.
Category Dilution is the concept that states you can “weaken” your ranking for a category if you have more than one category on your GMB listing. The opposite is actually the case, adding more categories often results in an increase in ranking and clicks because you show up for more related queries.
Pick the primary category for your business wisely, they hold more ranking weight than secondary categories. Analyzing your business and choosing the correct primary category can be crucial for your Google My Business account. When people search for your business online, you want to make sure your primary category is relevant to their needs.
For instance, “Lincoln Mercury Dealer” got renamed to “Lincoln Dealer” in Fall 2018 and “Natural Foods Store” got renamed to “Natural Goods Store” in December. Google can rename categories and confusing these renamed categories with new categories is something to keep in mind when checking your categories.
In the first six months of 2018 in the U.S., Google added 34 categories and removed 36. For example, they added “Fitness Class,” and removed “Dog Sitter.” As if changing their names wasn’t enough to confuse us. Keeping your categories in check is key.
As Google continually updates and removes categories, there’s a positive outcome to this mayhem. Keeping tabs on when Google updates new categories and updating your GMB primary category can put you at the top of that category GMB listing. Being the first to move on a newly added category can put you to the first page overnight!